The Great American Steamboat Race: The Natchez and the Robert E. Lee and the Climax of an Era

Overview

Running from New Orleans to St. Louis in the summer of 1870, the race between the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez remains the world's most famous steamboat race. This book tells the story of the dramatic contest, which was won by the stripped-down, cargoless Robert E. Lee after three days, 18 hours, and 14 minutes of steaming through day, night and fog. The Natchez finished the race only hours later, having been delayed by carrying her normal load and tying up overnight because of the intense fog. Providing details...

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Overview

Running from New Orleans to St. Louis in the summer of 1870, the race between the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez remains the world's most famous steamboat race. This book tells the story of the dramatic contest, which was won by the stripped-down, cargoless Robert E. Lee after three days, 18 hours, and 14 minutes of steaming through day, night and fog. The Natchez finished the race only hours later, having been delayed by carrying her normal load and tying up overnight because of the intense fog. Providing details on not only the race narrative but also on the boats themselves, the book gives an intimate look at the majestic vessels that conquered the country's greatest waterway and defined the bravado of 19th-century America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786442928
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/7/2009
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,044,508
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Formerly with the New York Times and the Saturday Evening Post, Benton Rain Patterson is an emeritus associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. 1 The Big Event

1 The Start 3

2 The Course 19

3 The Early Going 35

Pt. 2 The Origins

4 The Pioneers 49

5 A Different Kind of Boat 65

6 Captain Shreve's Design 77

7 The Proliferation 89

Pt. 3 The Circumstances

8 The Sweet Life on the Mississippi 101

9 The Hard-Working Life 117

10 Owners and Officers 129

11 The Perils 145

Pt. 4 The Outcome

12 On to Cairo 167

13 The Fog 178

14 Celebration in St. Louis 183

Epilogue 194

Chapter Notes 199

Bibliography 203

Index 206

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